Monthly Archives: March 2012
Henry James’s superb letter of consolation…and more.
Another essay, a kind of companion piece to “Faith,” the one most recently published in Eclectica.org. And, like that essay, this is not about “religion” religion but an attempt to broaden the perspective to include something bigger than that word typically conveys:
There is always a story, and a hero. A Jesus, a Buddha, a Moses or Muhammad. A Joseph Smith, a Persephone. The stories are miraculous, tragic, silly. It’s what comes later that is interesting—the cantatas, the NGOs, the Haj.
But first there is a story: the man-god Redeemer, the Chosen People, the last and greatest Prophet, the Lost Tribe, the Big Bang.
Even atheists have Nature, all-powerful, destructive as a hurricane, gentle as a mother robin. Evolution is the plodding agent of Her will. Evolution holds the master plan that used to be the prerogative of Zeus and Jehovah, executing it through Natural Selection in an infinitely complex way over unimaginably long stretches of time. There’s a whimsical, perverse aspect to Evolution, a God with the most serious intentions who chooses merely to start the ball rolling and then sits back for billions of years to see how things pan out…. (Read more)